Ask Antique Trader: No signature on lampshade makes difference in value

I would like to know something about this leaded glass lamp shade with swan designs in a heart. The overall design is pastel flowers and there is a ruby red border separating the middle part. M.G. – Plymouth, Mass.

A. You didn’t mention a signature, that could make a vast difference in value. However, there were many makers of “Tiffany style” shades from 1910 to 1920. Currently, quality examples with no signature are fetching from $6,000 to more than $8,000.

Q. I found this pottery bowl at a garage sale this past October and loved the baby and mother elephant design. It is stamped “Dedham Pottery” with a rabbit mark. It is crackled so I wondered if the $20 I paid was too much. It is about 5 1/4 inches in diameter. B.C. – Glenview, Ill.

A. Dedham Pottery is known for the gray-crackle-glazed dinnerware it produced from 1896 to 1928. It is very popular with collectors. Your bowl might sell at auction for $700-$900.

Q. I inherited this small wood box. Can you tell me what it is and value ? G.H. – Weymouth, Mass.

A. You appear to have a late 19th century stamp box, made in Italy. It could sell for $200 or more.

Q. This miniature painting is signed on the back “Henry Joy McCracken” and is of this member of United Irishmen (1767-1798), a group of radical patriots. He was tried for treason and hung. Whom can I contact? J.J. – Kansas City, Kan.

A. You didn’t say if you wanted to donate it to a museum in Belfast or sell it. Since it would be of historical interest to collectors and museums my suggestion is to contact Portrait Miniature Expert, Christie’s, 502 Park Avenue, NY 10022. It could bring an auction price in the high thousands.

Q. I would like to know if or any value on this porcelain vase. My mom says it is more than 100 years old. There are no marks. J.K. – Verona, Pa.

A. You appear to have a Japanese urn made in the 19th century. It is hand painted and could sell for up to $400.

Q. Thirty years ago I acquired this small ceramic planter (4 1/2 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches long by 4 inches high. Later I found the identical planter but larger. No signatures on either one. Both have windmills and ships. Identification and value appreciated. R.M.D. – Waycross, Ga.

A. Your planter was made around 1907 by Weller Art Pottery and in the “Dresden” line. They made many different design lines, Dresden featured Dutch motifs. Some pieces were unmarked. Others had paper labels, long gone. Your larger planter could have a price of $150. The small one could sell for $75.

Anne Gilbert is a nationally syndicated columnist, author of eight books about antiques and collectibles, and is well known for her lectures to business and professional groups. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, lll., and a member of the Newspaper Features Council and Society of Illustrators. She can be reached via e-mail at

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